Bakery Flavours Have Been Undergoing Changes that Call for Attention
It would be misleading to say that flavourings used in baked goods are a secondary consideration in batch production. However, in talks about bakery manufacturing, the emphasis on flours, textures, fats and leavenings appears to overshadow all other ingredients. Malted grain syrups, cinnamon, chocolate, fruits, vanilla, spices and even flavoured salts and soy sauce are among the ingredients that give baked goods their flavour.
Fruit, chocolate and vanilla are the most popular bakery flavours in sweet baked products, followed by fruits and nuts. Sucrose is by far the most popular sweetener. This is for a good reason: sumptuous bakery delicacies are built on the foundations of comfort, popularity and tradition, and the standards can always be counted on to provide. But things are changing!
Chocolate isn't just chocolate anymore. Today's version of the timeless classic includes dozens of varieties from many different countries, as well as precise cacao percentages. The introduction of ruby chocolate a few years ago was a game-changer in and of itself. Erythritol, honey, monk fruit and stevia are among the sweeteners used in chocolates, each posing its own set of challenges when using non-traditionally sweetened chocolate flavours in baked goods.
Vanilla is yet another essential ingredient that has transcended its single-word designation on a label. The terroir of a given ingredient, whether a whole bean, paste, extract or powder, is frequently mentioned in Madagascar or Tahitian vanilla recipes. As countries like Indonesia, Vietnam and Uganda increase their supply of the popular flavour, the problem has gotten even worse.
In the bakery, fruit and fruit flavour powder have derived from two trends that have only been beneficial. The first is sincerity. The second trend is expanding baked-goods fruit options to include more exotic varieties.
The types of fruits and vegetables used in baking grow in number and variety. The ability to preserve the full flavour and nutrition of fruits and vegetables using technology like extraction, microwave drying, and HPP (high-pressure processing) has enabled more handy and cost-effective formats like dried, and powdered fruits or natural fruit extracts concentrates.
Consumers today claim to strive to avoid sugar in their diet. Sugar, on the other hand, is essential in sweet pastry dishes.
Some of the key influencers driving the increased demand for sugar-reduction solutions are lifestyle trends centred on better choices and "clean" eating and regulatory mandates and media messaging linking excessive sugar consumption to health risks.
Since sugar delivers more than just sweetness, reducing sugar has caused issues in baking. To be successful, manufacturers must strike a balance between giving enjoyment and exceptional taste while also improving the nutritional profile of sweets.
Spicy and Savoury, Separate and Together
Traditional sweets combined with savoury components have grown increasingly popular. Items with flavour combinations like lemon and rosemary drizzle cakes or scones loaded with cardamom-infused cream are more popular than ever.
Asian countries' sweet-savoury flavour characteristics are also making headlines. Black vinegar cupcakes filled with yuzu curd and apricot-wasabi muffins have been introduced by Japanese bakers, who are known for experimenting with unique flavour combinations.
Spice Is Nice
Blends in the spice market are constantly evolving. However, a few spices and herbs appear to be gaining popularity as of late. Everyone discovered lavender in 2020, primarily because of its relaxing characteristics. "Lavender has a floral and sweet flavour, but too much can make the flavour strong and soapy. Sugar cookies and hot cross buns are wonderful carriers for lavender.
Flowers and spices are frequently used in baking around the world. For decades, rose and orange blossoms have been used in Persian and Indian pastry. Spice blends from this region, which have recently become popular in the United States, are also finding their way into baked items. Garam masala, an Indian spice blend of cinnamon, cardamom, cumin, coriander and pepper, as well as turmeric, is showing up in baked goods.
Better Than Sweet
One of the most significant developments in chocolate has been the commercialization of "better-for-you" products since the discovery that cacao beans are high in heart-healthy antioxidants. A few examples of increased usage of dark chocolate in baked goods (the darker the chocolate, the more concentrated the antioxidants) to chocolate enriched with protein or botanicals like turmeric or cannabis. Ingredients for better eyesight or cognitive function could be used in the next batch of chocolate cupcakes.
To Sum Up
Many bakeries will continue to diversify and offer a greater range of baked goods and other products in the future. The list mentioned above only contains a few bakery flavours that have constantly been evolving year by year.